Who wants the government to tell our kids what they should eat? Not me. Regrettably, since The First Lady has no purpose other than pet causes, government is needlessly perpetuating its involvement in an area that lies outside its purview.
Michelle Obama’s cause? Childhood obesity. It’s a serious issue, to be sure. So is obesity in general in this country. Yet against all rules of logic, last year Congress passed the feel-good-sounding Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. All this bill actually does is extend the federal Child Nutrition standards that have been around for decades – the same standards that may partially be a cause for childhood obesity (as the White House press release reminds us how many children’s meals are taken at school).
The solution, of course, does not lie with government, but with common sense. The government “solution” is to ramble on about food pyramids and dietary guidelines.
They have insomnia-curing reports on fatty acids and cholesterol, energy balance and weight management, and USDA Food Pattern Analyses. You can let the government suggest menus on how to lose weight, by doing what I’m sure every American does – keep track of how many ounces of grains and meat/beans you eat daily, and how many cups of vegetables, fruits, and dairy to consume, while still being conscious about the number of calories all this adds up to. Maybe you’d like to see the Healthy Eating Index? Maybe you’d actually like to know what the heck that is? You can spend weeks going through all the government websites specifically devoted to drowning you in mountains of useless information that won’t help you lose a single pound.
Contrary to government’s approach, if you are overweight, eat less. What a shock, huh?
There’s an irony I haven’t mentioned yet. Subsequent to the above bill’s passage, the USDA issued new Dietary Guidelines that advise people to – you guessed it – eat less. Yet it takes them 95 pages to say it.
The contrast is heightened when you look at the faces of the people in charge of the government side: we have Michelle Obama, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Anybody want to postulate how much these people actually know about healthy eating and weight loss?